Here Comes the Groom: The Things I’ve Learned

One just-married groom shares his story from the other side of the vows

Every week my wife, Emily, gets to yap about our marriage to the entire world on her Philadelphia Wedding blog, “Diary of a Marriage.” My friends, family and coworkers get the inside dirt on our lives—including many moments I can’t believe she actually shared online—and then, frequently enjoy inquiring about it. (Like the time a coworker asked during lunch, “Did Em really throw a bucket at your head?” I buried my head in my food and hoped the conversation would turn to sports.) Now, it’s my chance to blab about our marriage—the things I’ve learned, the things I never expected, the things I wouldn’t change for the world. Em, buckle up: I have a voice, too.

If asked for an opinion, just give one. Yes, she is going to do her own thing anyway, but a response is better than silence.

Be prepared for some really strange quirks. Since Em and I went old-fashioned and moved in together after our wedding, I was—and still am—a little shocked by the crazy things she sometimes does. For instance, she never dries her hands after washing them. She once explained to me that a towel’s lint will make her hands dirty again. I didn’t argue.

And for this reason (among others) … You need two bathroom sinks. Trust me on this one.

Say thank you. It’s easy to forget about the little things, but showing appreciation goes a long way.

Five minutes never means five minutes. Unless there’s five minutes left in the game and we “need” to go shopping.

Be honest (but not too honest). The answer to “Does this make me look fat?” is always no.

You will need to kill all bugs.

Take her out on dates. The romantic kind, with candles and flowers and very small portions of food. The kind of places you’ll leave still starving.

Pick your battles. Discuss issues that are serious, and let the trivial things slide.

Apparently, celebrities are just as big and important as athletes. I still don’t get this one. How can Kim Kardashian be as relevant as Chase Utley?

Never take a trip to the grocery store with your wife. Alone, guys can do it in half the time with half the money. And without analyzing every single nutrition label.

There are just as many entertainment channels as ESPNs. Learn to love Bravo and E!, and she may even watch ESPNEWS.

You will fight about money. Does she really need to buy a $6 Starbucks every day?

Trust one another.

T-shirts will not work for every occasion. When she comes down the stairs in a fancy dress, you’d better change. She will sometimes get mad for no reason. When this is the case, let her be. (And hide all buckets.)

Be ready for makeup to coat your life. Before marrying Em, I kept my car as clean as possible. Now, the radio dials are coated with a dusting of powder, and my leather interior doesn’t look or feel like leather anymore. My chick magnet (er, VW) has become a makeup-mobile, and I’ve learned to live with it.

Marriage is worth it. Despite these minor annoyances, marrying Em was the best decision of my life. Our relationship may be filled with overpriced lattes, celebrity gossip and soaking-wet bathroom counters, but I love our life just the way it is.

  • Marlene

    J., sounds like you have learned a lot in three short but sweet years! Congrats on your anniversary! Looking forward to reading about many more.

  • Kathy

    J, If only the Anderson’s could have done it your way! Kathy